The US Army Corps of Engineers (ACoE) on Friday raised its civil penalties for violations of the Clean Water Act
to reflect the rate of inflation. The maximum civil penalty that the Army can assess for Clean Water Act violations is now $52,414 per day, per violation.
This matches EPA’s civil penalty for Clean Water Act violations, which was adjusted earlier this year
to keep pace with inflation.
What Does the Army Have to Do With Clean Water?
Engineers have been a critical part of the US military since George Washington appointed the first Army engineer officers in 1775. In 1802, the Army officially established the Corps of Engineers as a separate branch. Throughout the 19th
century, the Army Corps surveyed new territories and managed major infrastructure construction projects—roads, bridges, coastal fortifications, railroads, lighthouses, dams, etc.—nationwide.
Fast-forward to the late 1960s. As environmentalism took hold in the US, the Corps of Engineers helped lead the way by undertaking more environmental preservation and restoration projects.
Today, the Corps oversees dredge-and-fill permitting under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. In January, the Corps issued a Final Rule to reissue 50 nationwide permits (NWPs)
authorizing discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the US under certain conditions. The Final Rule also added 2 new NWPs.
In addition to their responsibilities for enforcing the Clean Water Act, Army engineers play a critical role in emergency response and recovery operations—from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 to hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico today.
(photo credit: Museum Collection, Office of History, HQ, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
Clean Water Act Training
The Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act Regulations Online Course
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